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Knox County Detention Center using light technology to disinfect jail | Local News

KNOX COUNTY — Knox County Jailer Mary Hammons announced that the county’s detention center has incorporated hospital-grade UV-C light technology into its disinfection protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Jailer Hammons and her team partnered with Command Sourcing, Inc., an industry leader in corrections technology support, to deploy R-Zero’s UV-C disinfection system, Arc.

“We view our inmates as family, and our goal is to protect them and our staff as best we can,” said Jailer Hammons. “This technology brings our cleaning protocols to a new level and gives us the ability to disinfect our nearly 300-person jail in the same fashion as hospital operating rooms. Arc has given us greater peace of mind because we know we’re doing everything in our power to keep our inmates, deputies and the Knox County community safe. When we resume in-person visits, Arc will ensure a safe environment for inmates’ loved ones, too.”

UV-C light is a proven disinfection technology known to kill over 99.99% of all pathogens, including the virus that causes COVID-19. R-Zero’s Arc can disinfect air and surfaces in a 1,000 sq ft. room in just seven minutes, freeing up time and resources for detention centers and law enforcement while protecting the most vulnerable from COVID-19 outbreaks that have plagued jails across the nation. The detention center purchased Arc with federal coronavirus supplemental funding at no additional cost to Knox County taxpayers.

“This technology gives us all peace of mind to know that we’re keeping everyone in our facility safe,” said Dave Stewart, Deputy and Comptroller at the Knox County Detention Center. “Not only does it kill COVID-19 — it can kill all pathogens just like it does in an operating room. If it’s got DNA in it, it kills it. I’d recommend this technology to any jail, school or any place where people congregate.”

Knox County is using Arc to disinfect jail cells, offices and any other space where inmates and staff may congregate – all in a matter of minutes.

“UV-C light significantly reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission and other infection diseases common in correctional facilities including hepatitis, tuberculosis and influenza,” said R-Zero Chief Scientist Dr. Richard Wade, former head of Cal/OSHA and co-author of Standards of Healthcare of Correctional Institutions. “The technology has long been used by hospitals as one of the most efficient and effective ways to disinfect air, water, and surfaces, but historically, hospital-grade units have been cost-prohibitive for most organizations. Now, our partnership with Command Sourcing, Inc. helps bring R-Zero’s hospital-grade UV-C technology to county jails and other facilities at a fraction of the price.”

Arc is just one part of Knox County Detention Center’s COVID-19 mitigation strategy. Since the pandemic started, Jailer Hammons has implemented mandatory masking and rigorous cleaning protocols, as well as a 14-day quarantine on new arrestees and inmates who have had to leave the premises for any reason.